Monday, March 30, 2009

sogginess in the Spring

It could refer to my knees and ankles, or a pile of newspapers in a water source, but I mean the air and the ground are about equally damp and squishy today. I know I should be glad it isn't freezing solid (or, like Fargo, flooding AND freezing solid), and I am, but it is not raising the heart or the energy level. Or maybe that's the effect of three sleeping cats.

Marten had an upset stomach the day he went for his annual vaccinations and he was more miserable than I have ever seen him, keening (though he is normally almost mute) and hiding under my feet on the way home. So I drove home in sockfeet because I didn't want to crush him when I clutched in. He was not himself for two more days, but now he seems himself again. Nigel is continuing to be a delight, but he wants someone kitteny to play with, because Marten thinks he is a pipsqueak. I do not think I should get a fourth cat, because they cost money and I should also pay attention to creeping Cat-Ladyhood, which can sneak up on a single woman in the near-woods. On nicer days we all go outside and take walks, even Willow.

This is not a nicer day.

There are crocus and mini-iris and snowdrops. No peepers I have noticed yet. We have gone beyond 'mud-luscious' to 'amazing ruts in the driveway.'

On Friday, I made my yearly trip to Northampton to teach spinning and needle-felting at the Smith science fiction convention. I missed my daughter, who had mixed feelings about graduating and leaving Smith, too, but I found I still knew a bunch of people and since at least two of them will still be there next spring, I will probably go again. I also really like spinning and spindles and I don't do enough of it. And science fiction fans, who find it perfectly reasonable to wonder in the middle of a conversation about spinning, _why_ the Greek-style sword is shaped like that. (It was a wooden version, along these lines, for sale and a thing of beauty. I don't know whether it would have to be peace-bonded at a convention, but you could probably give someone a nasty bruising scalp wound.)

An eight-year-old girl with her family from Virginia suggested several more science fiction conventions I could go to when I announced I needed more of this. She and her sister were wearing matching velvet half-cloaks, being steampunk (think Victorian with a heavy Jules Verne overlay, and extra gears and rockets) with their father.

Another person told me she had never heard grownups discussing science fiction before, and another wondered why so many people looked down on it. I tried to explain that there was a time before lots of paperbacked books existed and that it had mostly been small pulp magazines until about 1964, but since I have never understood why 'everyone' in the 'real literary world' thinks science fiction is the lowest form of life except maybe for slasher porn, I wasn't much help. (I am not sure I believe in 'everyone' or the 'real literary world,' either. But I have heard about them.)

But science fiction cons, despite the posing-as-weird-(they-wish), the unwashed, and those in chain-mail bikinis, feel like home to me, so it was good. ConBust was actually quite clean, relatively unweird, and mostly appropriately dressed.

WEBS is selling some really nicely prepared 'domestic wool' (looks like Romney) in several natural colors for 99 cents an ounce. I behaved very well and only spent $18 there, and half that was for needles. It turned out I needed the extra roving I had bought, and the con was charging a materials fee for the spinning class, a great idea I had never had before. The kitchen store has moved next to the comic book store, which could be a bad conjunction for me the next time I go, but I behaved and bought a hostess gift from the comic book people (for when I go back there Memorial Day; I don't think Grace and Debbie read this, so I can say it was a FLUXX deck; and a spice jar holding drawer rack for the kitchen I sincerely believe I will one day be using. It has many drawers. I am hoping t=for the almost empty counter look, so I am giving this a shot.

The cats don't approve of all this gallivanting, but I do. It was beautiful in Henniker on Friday and in Northampton on Saturday, t-shirt weather... someday again, I hope.

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